FIFA Takes 2021 Confederations Cup Away From Qatar

In a tough-yet-fair decision by an organization known for them, FIFA has decided to strip Qatar of hosting privileges for the 2021 Confederations Cup. In explaining the group's reasoning, FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke revealed something no one had previously considered: Qatari summers are way too hot for… » 2/26/15 10:49am Thursday 10:49am

Even The Big European Powers Can't Stop The Winter World Cup In Qatar

As the tides of progress surge on, even Europe realizes its powerlessness in the face of Qatar's insistence on making the 2022 World Cup the first to be held in the winter, thus wrecking the domestic leagues' seasons. Our last hope for sanity to prevail—a defiant UEFA protecting its own highly-profitable… » 2/24/15 10:51am Tuesday 10:51am

Qatar Pays Migrant Workers $1 an Hour To Be Fake Sports Fans

The life of most migrant workers in Qatar is bleak—so bleak, it's a human rights violation. The latest report from Doha reveals a new twist in the sad story. When they're not toiling away at building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, many workers are being paid impossibly small wages to be fake sports fans. It doesn't… » 12/17/14 2:18pm 12/17/14 2:18pm

Never Mind That Last-Minute $37M Doha Paid To Win The IAAF Championships

Last week, Doha, Qatar was named the host city for the 2019 IAAF Track and Field World Championships, beating out Eugene, Oregon, and Barcelona, Spain. Now it emerges that the Doha bid offered up about $37 million in "incentives" in the minutes before the vote, and the IAAF wants everyone to know there's nothing wrong… » 11/25/14 3:50pm 11/25/14 3:50pm

FIFA Investigator Blasts Report Based On His Own Investigation

As expected, the report based on FIFA's probe has largely cleared Russia, Qatar, and all active FIFA officials of claims of corruption in the World Cup bidding process. But here's one no one saw coming: the man who actually conducted the investigation says the report is "incomplete and erroneous," and will appeal… » 11/13/14 8:22am 11/13/14 8:22am

Spoiler Alert: After FIFA Probe, Qatar Gets To Keep Its World Cup

The summary of a year-long investigation into the bidding process for the next two World Cups will not be released until tomorrow, but the gist has already leaked via the English press. Basically: everyone involved was corrupt, but the 2018 and 2022 tournaments will not be taken away from Russia or Qatar. » 11/12/14 4:42pm 11/12/14 4:42pm

Qatar Sports Minister Says He Probably Won't Imprison Gay Soccer Fans

It's hard to keep track of all the reasons it's so fucked up that FIFA decided to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, so here's one you might not have been aware of: It is illegal to be gay in Qatar, and the country's sports minister isn't willing to give anyone a straight answer on whether gay people will be welcome… » 11/11/14 4:17pm 11/11/14 4:17pm

Report: Qatar Using North Korean Slave Labor To Build For World Cup

It seemed like we had reached a point where the organizers of the 2022 World Cup couldn't possibly get more cartoonishly evil, what with the ITUC estimating that migrant worker-fueled construction would kill more people than 9/11, and then another report estimating that 1,000 migrant workers had already died in the… » 11/07/14 2:48pm 11/07/14 2:48pm

Report: To Escape Qatari Heat, World Cup Matches Might Start At 1 A.M.

Despite overwhelming evidence of corruption, it doesn't look like Qatar will be losing its 2022 World Cup hosting privileges. Which still leaves that little problem of how to play in the heart of a Middle Eastern summer. One new proposal involves pushing back start times into the night and early morning, with the… » 10/20/14 5:44pm 10/20/14 5:44pm

Qatar's $45 Billion Plan to Build a Brand New City for the World Cup

Qatar, the 2022 host of the World Cup, is not a large country, with a population just over 2.1 million. So to prepare for the millions who'll descend on the country eight years from now, it's going to great lengths—including building an entire new city from scratch. » 9/16/14 12:56pm 9/16/14 12:56pm

FIFA's Report On World Cup Bidding Corruption Won't Be Made Public

We all had a grand old time in Brazil, didn't we? But now FIFA has to stop ignoring the fact that many (most?) observers believe the bidding process for the forthcoming Russia and Qatar World Cups was fixed, or at least flawed. In response to the clamoring for an update, FIFA has released a statement that amounts to,… » 7/21/14 3:25pm 7/21/14 3:25pm

Qatar Soccer Head Says World Cup Bidding Was Fair

Today's Guardian publishes an op-ed by Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Football Association, in which he contends that Qatar deserved to host the 2022 World Cup. It's the sort of thing that begs you to scroll to the comments first, just to see the readers catalogue omissions and offer… » 6/20/14 2:20pm 6/20/14 2:20pm

Host Sites For A 2022 U.S. World Cup That Doesn't Exist–Yet

ESPN Deportes' Jorge Ramos caused a bit of a stir last week by reporting that FIFA put U.S. Soccer on standby for the 2022 World Cup, should Qatar be stripped of its hosting privileges. While this report has been disputed and denied up and down, America's vast sports infrastructure would make it a sensible backup… » 6/17/14 3:52pm 6/17/14 3:52pm

Why Would Any Country Host the World Cup?

There should be a sense of pride and revelry overtaking the nation of Brazil, where the World Cup starts today. Yet residents in cities across the country are protesting with transit strikes and tent occupations, hoping to draw attention to the extreme costs and unfinished facilities stunting the sluggish economy. » 6/12/14 2:13pm 6/12/14 2:13pm

Report: Qatar Bought World Cup With Over $5 Million In Secret Payments

Well, at least we know for sure, now. The Sunday Times has analyzed "hundreds of millions of emails, accounts and other documents," uncovering the secret payments former Qatari FIFA vice president Mohamed bin Hammam made to international soccer officials to back Qatar's bid to host the 2022 World Cup. So maybe the "… » 5/31/14 7:41pm 5/31/14 7:41pm